The HBCU was shut out of the 2021 NFL draft. Prairie View center Danny Garza hopes to end that drought in 2022

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) would have their own chapter in the NFL history book.

There were 14 HBCU products named to the NFL’s 100th anniversary team, including the likes of Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley), Walter Payton (Jackson State) and Deacon Jones (South Carolina State). Those 14 plus 20 others, including Grambling’s Buck Buchanan, the first HBCU product to go first overall in a draft in 1963, have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But the past is what the HBCU must cling to. There hasn’t been much of a present. For the first time in the game’s modern era, there wasn’t a single HBCU player drafted by the NFL in 2021. The Willie Laniers, Ken Houstons and Mel Blounts have become few and far between for the Southern black schools.


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